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Silicone eartips: try filling them with Blu-Tack

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My first IEMs were some cheap Skullcandy Ink'd. I was very pleased by their noise isolation, and considering their commonplace design (simple silicone eartips) I assumed that most cheap IEMs would isolate about the same. I was wrong. Since then, I have tried many other cheap IEMs, and none of them isolate as well as my Skullcandy Ink'd.

Why such a difference? It is all about eartips, of course. Thinking about it, I realized that Skullcandy's eartips were appreciably thicker and stiffer that most others. Hence the obvious problem: as airtight an eartip can be in the ear, if the rubber is too thin, there is still some noise leaking through it. For example, SoundMAGIC earphones come with double-flange eartips, but those are so thin that they fail to isolate better than Skullcandy's eartips.

To make up for the thin rubber, I had the idea to stuff some putty inside the eartips. So I tried several kind of non-hardening putty.

First, I tried some Fimo/Sculpey polymer clay, the consistency of which (when not baked) is very much like plasticine (commonplace modeling clay). It worked rather well, and putty-filled eartips isolated noticeably better. But the heat from the ears softened the clay, which tended to escape from the eartips and to stain the earphones. I hoped to find a better filler. Then, I tried some Silly Putty. What a nightmare! Although this stuff does not stick to fingers, it sticked like hell to the rubber, making the experiment almost irreversible. Ugh.

Finally, I tried some Blu-Tack. It worked like a charm. Bostik Blu-Tack (or UHU Patafix which is the same but yellow) turned out to be the perfect filler I was looking for. It does not stick too much, and does not soften too much in the ears. Not only it blocks some noise by itself, but it is firm enough to help getting a thighter seal.

Skullcandy Ink'd eartips.

SoundMAGIC double-flange eartips.

Turning them inside out.

Applying the Blu-Tack (or Patafix).

post #2 of 8
Shouldn't this increase their comfort, as well?
post #3 of 8
Very Interesting!
post #4 of 8
Wow. I'm going to go round Blu-Tacking all my silicons now!!
If it helps the W3 silicons and the JAYS tips, I'll be almost happy
post #5 of 8
Funny, I did a similar observation about poor isolation due to thin rubber some time ago. I came up with two solutions, both of which are (slightly) different from yours:

1) Take a foamie, slice off a piece and put it over the stem of the rubber eartip. This is quite similar to your solution except uses foam instead of Blu-Tack.

2) Use the next smaller size of eartips and put them one over the other just like those russian nested dolls. Works only with size L + M or M + S, if you need size S you're obviously out of luck

Just my 2 cents...
post #6 of 8
post #7 of 8

WOW! This is the bomb!

post #8 of 8

Wow, almost a 4 year old thread resurrected.

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